Media Center

Press Release

Presidential Run-Off in Haiti: A step in the right direction

  January 7, 2016

The Electoral Observation Mission of the Organization of American States (EOM/OAS) in Haiti welcomes the establishment of a date for the presidential run-off as a "step in the right direction", and calls upon all actors to work towards improving conditions ahead of the voting announced for January 24th. Concluding the electoral process will allow for a constitutional transfer of power to a newly elected President.

The Mission considers the separation of the local elections from the presidential run-off as a positive measure, as this reduces the number of party representatives ("mandataires") at polling stations and avoids the repetition of the problems generated on October 25th.

The EOM/OAS takes note of the recommendations recently issued by the Independent Electoral Evaluation Commission, and urges the Electoral Provisional Council (CEP) to factor them into the preparation of the presidential run-off to allow for a strengthened and truly competitive electoral process.

Some of the irregularities identified by the Evaluation Commission which must be addressed before the next phases of the electoral process had been highlighted in the recommendations presented by the OAS Mission following the August 9th and October 25th elections, both in public preliminary statements and in two reports to the CEP. Despite these irregularities, the information gathered by EOM/OAS on the ground did not show inconsistencies with the final results presented by the CEP in terms of which two candidates go to the run-off.

The electoral process can and must be improved, but efforts have to go beyond the introduction of new technical safeguards. The EOM/OAS urges Haitians to participate in the presidential run-off and to actively engage in the electoral process to prevent the irregularities and violence seen in the past from happening again. The EOM/OAS appeals to the two candidates to fully participate in the electoral process and to make their voices heard through the balloting.

The EOM/OAS has maintained a permanent presence in Haiti since the start of the electoral process and will observe the next phases with a robust Electoral Observation Mission, and it hopes that Haiti will continue to strengthen and consolidate its democratic system so it can achieve long-lasting peace and development.

Reference: E-359/16